The Launch of Poetry Excursion on an African Mind by Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia

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Poetry, is fast gaining roots in Ghana, and as such, there are modern poets who are helping give it a boost in the entertainment industry. I must commend the Ghana Association of Writers (GAW) for helping its members gain the recognition they need. Being what many call a prolific writer, I started writing poetry when I was very young. It was my safe shell, it was my happy lane, it was my channel of criticism, it was my path to call for fairness, it was my route of education, among other things.

I never for once thought I would reach a point where I would be a published poetess, but by the grace of God, 15th March 2015 will see me living to see a dream, which I deemed far fetched, come true. Thanks to my loved ones who have had continued faith in me and have supported me up to this point and thanks to my followers on social media, especially, Facebook, WordPress and Twitter, whose words of encouragement, great voices of constructive criticisms and love have brought me this far.

My anthology: Poetry Excursion on an African Mind, which is my maiden book, was borne out of many emotions, so whoever one is, whatever one is going through, you are sure to find a piece which suits you. From children to the mourning adult, from the love-sick to the loved and from workers to politicians.

What drives me is the fact that I wish to contribute to the society where I am by doing what I do best, writing. Being one who knows what parents of autistic children go through, I decided, by consulting the executives of GAW, who gave their full support, to use 30% of the proceeds of the book to set up a fund to support children with autism to help relieve needy parents who have huge tasks of taking care of such children. Autism needs money to train children to fit into the society, money which most abandoned mothers lack and so fall into desperation. There are many people who are providing help for autistic children in Ghana today at huge costs,  but no financial help comes in except from philanthropists.

It is my hope that this fund, whose signatories would be the President of GAW, my humble self and a head of an autistic organisation, would grow to a point of relieving many parents whose hearts are heavy because of the fears they harbour and whose fears are fuelled mostly by the cost of living of their autistic children.

So I am entreating all and sundry to rally massively behind me on the 15th of March by being at the PAWA House, opposite the Accra Girls Senior High School at exactly 2:00pm to help support a good course. Seasoned poets like Nana Asaase, Oswald Okaitei, Chief Moomen would be there as Mr. Alfred Kpodo chairs this maiden edition. Special Guest of Honour will be the woman who has shown so much support for the Creative Arts in Ghana: Honourable Deputy Minister of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts; Honourable Abla Dzifa Gomashie.

Please make it a point to be there.

      Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia

 Author.

TIMES

colorful-flowers

Dawn’s whispers

It freshness and tears

Its soothings caress

Bodies smile and feel

Which arena can compare?

 

II

Morning’s massages

Its beauty and smiles

Its vitamins like potent drugs

Bodies smile and feel

Which arena can compare?

 

III

Afternoon’s strength

Its drying and heat

Its scares and energy

Bodies love in care

Which arena can compare?

 

IV

Evening’s calm

Its gentleness and promising rest

Its breezes of healing heat

Bodies love and fear

Which arena can compare?

 

V

Night’s mystery

Its coolness, lurings, longings and satisfactions

Its clothes of darkness

Saintly bodies’ reliefs, curiosities and fears

Why won’t deviancies use her as a cloak?

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2015

DELICO CHANGE

Dawadawa and prekese
Are now ruled by curry powder
And white spices
Ghana men hide in masks
Thinking they are trending
And I ask myself why?

II
Days when our older generation lived
They lived on hwintia, pepreh and kakaduro
Adding mako, making sure akoko messa
Dance in soups with fowl carcasses in their rivers
Now many sicknesses abound in powder
Dressed in nice sachets, smiling in attraction to have us killed
And we succumb

III
No wonder hearts fail
Sighting many an ail
And bodies weaken
Always on healing seeking
We forget what we have thrown away
Culture and strength
Delicacies and safety
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2015

NEEDING THE SUN (HAIKU)

STARS

I am a bright star

I need to see brighter sun

Help! Help Mister Dark

II

I am a bright star

Sitting dazed like trapped by clouds

I need to see sun

III

With sun in deep sleep

While I am fully awake

How do I meet her?

IV

Please Mister Dark, help

I help in lighting your world

And so that does count

V

I need to ask Sun

How she manages to light

The whole world at once

VI

I am a bright star

Needing to hit the bar by

Being a future Sun

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2015

UNIFICATION IN DEFECATION

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Sometimes I wish I were a broom

Strapped together with others

In a tight band

So I will never lack company

And like an eternal love,

Be together forever

I would hate to be a dropout

Because I wouldn’t want to be a child’s play

For in the hands of the child,

I know my bones will never be safe

Yes, I will stay true to my team

Fearing the wicked teeth of the incinerator

So old I will definitely grow in my band

Losing my height with every sweep

And go through dusts, filth and even defecation

Until our owners throw us out

Into the incinerator or dumpster

Where we may have helped in sending many

To be incarcerated

One thing will be for sure

Seeing the pain of others while in pain

Makes one’s pain less

That bond on unity till the end, I know,

Will be the balm to conquer all pain,

I wish I were a broom

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2015

DROOLING DENTS

dahlia

Dan drooled down amidst dears

Deeming deans daffy

Drawing dears dull

Damning daughters deep,

Deep drowning his density

Dan deems it a dago

And dallies getting a dahlia

Dating back to get his daguerreotype

Drown in dangerous dens 

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2015

BORN TO PAIR (ETHEREE)

en.wikipedia.org
en.wikipedia.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Twins

Born wins

Twins oh twins!

Conceived to pair

From the bed in womb

To the parting to the tomb

They are competitors and team

Jealousy stays and sleeps in their midst

They need discipline and love to conquer

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2015

(Inspired by a friend on WordPress)

FARM BEINGS (TANKA)

Photo0065

Tomatoes, onions

Pepper and salt, fish, water

Groundnut or palmnut

Should I bring in the others?

They live independently

II

Living by themselves

So conceited like bosses

Never knowing they will leave

Together in pots

On flames with fingers like swords

III

Sad that is not all

Their carcasses travel through

Odours, crashing stones

With tips like hot sharp metals

Grinding them to paste, awful!

IV

They leave separately,

Through the worst of their own fears

Are they oblivious?

No. One’s life is the cause

And threat on another’s life

V

Are we different?

Certainly not! We are them

They who live like men

With their scents, throwing all frights

When they must be friends till ends

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2015

SKY DRAMA

Sky and earth, amoafowaa.com
Sky and earth, amoafowaa.com

Tears, like cloud in sky

When rained, clears the sky so right

Paving way for sun

II

Pain, like snow on earth

When cleared, cleans the earth so well

Showing neat beauty

III

Let it rain till dawn

And help the sun rise with ease

To heal all pain

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2015

THE TICKET TO THE TOP

www.pxleyes.com
http://www.pxleyes.com

Tingly tickles tell trophies,
Trials tails tops and turns
Try twinkling like a twinkling star
Or trip in trails while training
But trophies laughed and told tt
That they are the top many must reach
While tt is the fuel which drives seekers to them
What I learnt from the discourse?
Everything has its grand, medium, small and failures
Knowing ones’ place is the ticket to the top
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2015

KOLIKOLIKOS

nydjlive.com
nydjlive.com

When the cats are mewing
And the dogs are backing
And many birds are chirping
And many snakes are hissing
Trying to get the lion’s attention,
Trust me, all it hears are meats
Yes, meats calling to be chewed

***
Instead of planning a trapping
And getting a catching
So they can get ears to do the listening,
They converge to shout into hunger
Some into sicknesses
Some into trouble
And others into death

***
It irks if foxes and hyenas lead
Because in the stampede
They get many smaller meats
Who decide to dance to their beats
Knowing not the hidden deceit;
Same as the one causing the lion’s deceit
Ahhh! Grandlings of plannings of sweet tannings!

You really are cunningly cunning!

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2015

THIS LOVE WITHIN ME

news.virginia.edu
news.virginia.edu

I know I don’t do much
Well, I may not know much
I don’t crave for so much
Just crave for a lover’s touch

***
Signing in symphony
Smiling in harmony
Settling in spendable money
Non needs to frown tasting honey

***
I’m not asking for much
I can’t fight you in a match
I’m no mouse to fear a cat’s catch
I’m a tiger but wants to hatch

***
So touch me
Don’t fear what ills can be
Feel me
And open heavens to make me see

***
Make me see and with the clouds dine
Make my blood bubble to make me fine
Indulge me even if I whine
I just want to be in your line
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2015

A TRAVELLING CURSE

darksouls.wikidot.com
darksouls.wikidot.com

This is a curse
I say this slowly
I know this is a curse
When tortoise flies like an eagle
Without any signs of possession
Without a cause
I know this is a curse

***
This is a curse
I know this is a curse
When dogs act like lions
Tearing bodies into pieces
While the sun smiles
And many eyes watch
I know this is a curse

***
This is a curse
I know this is a curse
A curse needing all hearts to revoke
Don’t we all know
Of the burning beared
Which burnt the hut of the family of partying teeth and tongues?
And oh, they roasted like ripe plantain

***
This is a curse
I know this is a curse
A curse whose first count hid behind a god
Shinning in filth
And perfuming in foul odour
Amazing how many sit and watch
Inventions on floors, tables and walls
Sighing, sympathising, shaking heads
This is a curse
I say this is a curse
A curse we must revoke or be extinct
Yoooooo!
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia

WHEN HE CALLS

700_red-bleeding-hearts

When he calls
I keep rolling like a ball
I keep moving like a sound
I keep flowing like a river

***
When he sighs
I keep over reacting like a mouse
I keep worrying like a lost parrot
Tears keep overflowing within me like a fountain

***
When he stumbles
I keep diving like a light goalkeeper
I keep hurting like a mother hurting over her young
And I so want to be like a mattress for him to fall on

***
Why then do I matter so little?
Why then does he push me into sharp rocks?
Why then do my tears serve as his entertainment?
He is like an onion being chopped
An onion with no nutrients
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia

SEDUCTION OF SIN

www.lbiq.net
http://www.lbiq.net

Why sin was made ineluctable,

Abena, I do not know

Its terribly sweet whispers

Its beautiful shapes and colours

Its mysterious rush of adrenaline

Its promises of gain

Rubbed by its soothing balm of satisfaction after success,

Erase thoughts of its consequences

II

There I was

Standing at the threshold of sin

Watching Amidu cuddle an apple with thorns beneath

I called, Amidu, watch out!

Amidu, watch out!

But he heard only after he had deep wounds

On his third leg after cunningly using it to step there

Ei! Why must sin cover ears of all?

III

Just after that,

I watched as Quaye sneaked to capture

A golden casket

I looked and saw it was a trap to get a corpse

I screamed and screamed in warning

But I guess he heard me from the life of beyond

IV

I hate to hate sin

Because it catches me anyway

Tying my friends, family and all

Ensuring our fall is a call

Seductive snake in synergy with pain

To seduce and reduce to naught

Please put some clothes on you

We are tired of your pornography!

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2015

COMPLACENCY IN HAIKU

download

All great prekeses

Prepare before meeting great

dawadawas, facts

II

Scents battling with scents

Sharpen their scent skills lest they

Get lost in high scents

III

I wish most scents blend.

The power of their result

May kill enemies

IV

Complacency shames

Hurts, destroys and kills always

Who is not aware?

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2015

FLIRTATIOUS BACKFIRINGS (TANKA)

images

While day flirts with air

Thinking it can ward off night

And air flirts with day

Thinking it can light its path

The trees nod their heads, watching

II

They see this all times

Expectations in firing

They all leave town and die down

Being bombed by darkness

How I wish some use their heads!

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2015

PLEASE SHARE

LOVERS OF POETRY

In a world which sniffs

And coughs suffering and good

The toad must test all waters

Before embarking on all its leapings into swimming

Even fishes hold water thermometers

If trust has become so stubborn

As to dive deep into unforgivable tests

Then you and I are but pawns

Pawns set on each other to help, maim or kill

I choose to help

Please give me your hand by sharing

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2015

THAT LOVELY MEL

images (1)

Sound the bell

Let actions tell

Of the tree which fell

For the lovely Mel

In an analogy which sells

And I will step into the shoes of Mel

And wouldn’t mind being the tree which fell

 

II

Long go, a huge tree fell

Across a trench which was so deep

It fell to tell the lovely Mel

Of its desire to see it smile so wide

Forever than time could ever tell

Mel was travelling to sell her heart

She stopped the sale and nursed the tree

Until it stood so straight

And stayed under its shade forever

 

III

So sound the bell

And let your actions tell

Of your wish to make me

Your lovely Mel

And I will never my heart sell

And will give it freely for you to shade

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia © 2015

FOR THAT MOMENT

images

I am waiting

Waiting for that moment,

That moment when bubbles will fry

And join passions in the bloodstream

Sending satisfaction like a serpent in heat

To this heart which is living and yearning for a step up

II

I am waiting

Waiting for that moment

When a righteous war will be waged

Waged against this head which is like a deflection guru

And see it lose to the heart whose fire burns like the fires of heaven

And feel the head bow, knowing it lost for a good course

III

I am waiting

Waiting to see the end of a forever,

A forever where there is the happy ever after

Its huge gates never letting in problems or sufferings

I know it is a long wait, yes, a long wait

But that is the chance I’m willing to take, so I’m waiting

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2015

WHAT I AM

lightbulb

The bulb brightens

Like a higher version of candles

Knowing air can never get close

Knowing its life will end not with a wick

It knows it is not immortal

But feels it can brighten longer than most candles

I am that bulb

And until a hot iron brings me down

Or a hot current bombs me up

I will brighten my jurisdiction

And smile like the bulb’s brightest lightening

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2015

SPARKS

images (1)

Sparks of lightening

When the moon meets sun

Sparks of electricity

When pluses stand beside negation

Sparks and sparks

Is what I need

Make me the moon

If you need to be the sun

And let’s produce many stars

To help us shine bright

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2015

ON THIS DAY WHEN LOVE CALLS

Two-animated-blue-birds-on-a-branch

When we do meet

Let the nation of our eyes merge

Into a nation so perfect

Forcing our tyres to move with speed

For our hands to lock in love

I do have pots ready to cook

When you bring the ingredients

And stir after pouring your great waters into my river

Who knows, I may give you a little cooked you

When your rhythms are accepted by all good gods

While the African gods dance to the tune of chocolate

And the white gods dance to the tune of candy

Let us dance on a bed of roses without thorns

Caring no hoot about the fall of clothings

Let sweat taste sweat

As tongues serve as the ladle to stir

And fan passion’s hotness

To send us to a realm of heaven

To feel things none has ever felt

On this day when love calls

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2015

FOR THE BROKEN

images

Oh ye brokens!

I bring you some few tokens

Of words many mouths have spoken

In their bid to calm past broken

II

There were two swans

Who fell at once

Into a ditch

A ditch more like a bitch

III

It bit them 

Confined them

And forced them to love

So they thought it was from above

IV

When a heavenly ladder

Brought them to the upper

The wind threw dust into their faces

And each blamed the other looking at the traces

V

And so they separated

And lady swan felt frustrated

Until her mother told her the many men

Who had thrown her into pain’s den

VI

She saw how cruel life was

Got up, dressed and decided to get lost

Only to appear in a river

To see a soul which made her heart and soul shiver

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2015

LEFT: VALENTRIMO

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Trimmed and hemmed?

Oh no!

You should have known

There are miserly mice

Who hate to share

On the feast of “hand go hand comes”

Especially when their hands are the longest

So stop flooding the land of your face

Stop looking into the hemmed holes

Stop being the cat and forget the mouse

And try wearing a blouse

Plastering and ironing your heart

Fir a tight scar

Which will sound when mice step close

It must suck!

Yes it does!

Trimming pours invincible blood

And it is always a closed felt pain

Nurse it in the dark or perish!

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2015

A Piano Interview with Mihran “Mino” Kalaydjian

MIHRAN THE PIANIST ON www.amofowaa.com
Mihran the pianist on http://www.amofowaa.com

While Mihran “Mino” Kalaydjian is a mesmerizing live performer, his passionate cult following is surely due to his immense discography.

“Mihran Kalaydjian “Mino” known as “Fast Finger” is a special breed, and I mean that in the most complimentary sense of the phrase.  He has it all – the whole package of artistic gifts – and in abundance.  But, what strikes about his playing is the sheer beauty – the concept, the intelligence, the control over every sound, the vision, the phenomenal listening to it all – all the attributes that comprise great artistry of the sort that touches our souls.”

AMOAFOWAA:What is your earliest memory of playing the piano?

NINO: I grew up in a family of musicians. My mother is a piano teacher and my father was a conductor in Jerusalem, Israel. My mother had a large influence on my musical development; she was the one who introduced me to music. Thanks to her, I was surrounded by music from the very beginning. Since childhood, I remember listening Berlioz’s “Fantastic Symphony”, Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto, Chopin Etudes and many other beautiful music compositions. It was one little song that inspired me to start playing piano. I loved the song so much that I would sing it over and over. I was only Four years old, and of course I didn’t know how to read notes, so I tried to pick up the music by ear. When I sat down to play the song, it came easily. It was joy for me to be able to “perform” my favorite song and share it with my family and friends.

AMOAFOWAA: You are a serious professional, someone who engages with the score on such an intimate level that you’re actually looking at a facsimile of the composer’s handwriting. But I also know you have a big record collection. Do you listen to records of something like the Liszt sonata when working on it?

NINO: I try not to until I have a sufficient idea of the piece. I want to learn what the essence of it is and what I want to do with it first. Later on, I will occasionally listen to recordings, maybe just to find out what the performing tradition is with that particular work. But essentially, I don’t like to be influenced. The very first recording artists, and people who recorded these pieces for the first time, I don’t think they were imitating anybody. Who could they imitate? Maybe other performances they heard in halls or in private studios… Other performers are like me, too, trying to find their own solutions.

But I’ve actually known of at least two or three people who’ve said explicitly in interviews that they surround themselves with all existing performances to sort of try to get the best of them. To me, that’s completely backward, and shows a real lack of awareness and a lack of appreciation for the composer’s task and the composer’s creative act. It’s like “Oh, you wrote all of this, great, but I’m just going to do my own thing and ignore the finer points of what you wrote.” Some composers really agonize over small details, and I can understand how they feel.

 

AMOAFOWAA: What are your favorite piano concertos and why?

NINO: I have many that I love. Contrary to many pianists, I find the most difficult, and perhaps the most rewarding, to be Brahms 2. Many pianists find the Bartok 2 to be the sine qua non of difficult concerti, but I do think the Brahms is more so, if only because everybody knows it better and it’s more transparent in texture. I adore playing any and all of the Mozart concerti, and the Beethoven’s certainly have to be up there, too. It’s fun to play the Rach 3 from time to time I had my first successes in the United Kingdom with that piece but I can’t say it’s my favourite work.

AMOAFOWAA: Do you suffer from nerves before a performance and how do you handle this?

NINO: I don’t really suffer too often from nerves as such, though I am most certainly geared up inside one way or the other. Otherwise I couldn’t call myself a performer. And this is true for any venue, whether it be London, Berlin, or a much more obscure place. But when nerves have occurred, they can have a near-devastating effect. Perhaps deep, sustained breathing exercises will help, if one is offstage when the nerves become apparent. But if the nerves start acting up onstage, or if ones hands start shaking for any reason whilst performing (it has happened), one just has to work through it. There is no easy solution.

AMOAFOWAA: How important is the public to you? Do you ever feel that fan-doom undermines a genuine regard for music? 

NINO: The collective energy from the public is extremely important for all performers. I wouldn’t believe anyone who told me otherwise!! But why and how this energy is important for me personally has changed somewhat over the years. It will come as a surprise to many who might have heard me when I was younger that I found it almost painful to get up after a performance and take a bow. I would much rather have simply walked offstage unnoticed!! Believe me, it is not false modesty, but quite simply the way I often felt. You know, when one is fully in a piece of music, to suddenly have to relate to the audience at the works conclusion can be very daunting. On the other hand, today I have a very different attitude, if only because I am very aware of my need to interact with the audience’s energy, and the audiences need to show their appreciation for what I’ve been able to give them. If this sounds like pie in the sky, then so be it. We are all sharing our gifts onstage, whatever their merits. If we don’t want to share them, we have no right to be there! With regard to hero-worship, this unfortunately exists in every public profession, and I have had my share of it as well. I don’t like it, but not liking it is not going to change it! Luckily, I believe most of the audience really is responding to the music. When and if it is well played, how can they not!

 

AMOAFOWAA: How do you respond to aggressive and negative reviews?

NINO: My reactions vary. If the criticism is unduly harsh, I’m often mad, or hurt, or both. With time, either I realize that the critic was an idiot, or that he or she was trying to tell me something that I really needed to learn. There is always a grain of truth in any criticism. By the same token, I think one should take complimentary criticism with a bit of a grain of salt as well. What’s most important is the work that one does before getting up onstage, not what happens once one is there!

AMOAFOWAA: What do you consider the most demanding works you have played and why are they so demanding?
NINO: Well, things such as the Rach 3 have a helluva lot of notes, but I don’t think they are by any stretch of the imagination the most demanding. As I’ve said before, I think Brahms 2 is the most difficult concerto in the repertoire. People know every note of it, and they all have their own conceptions of how they want to hear it. This might be true of other works in the repertoire, but when you put the sheer technical and musical difficulties of the Brahms on top of it all, is makes for an almost impossible task. I remember once one of my teachers, Augustin Lama, telling me that the Hammerklavier wasn’t difficult, it was impossible! Having played it many times, I think I know what he means. Something, albeit perhaps very small, invariably goes wrong, and it’s never when you think it’s going to happen! A work which is terribly rewarding, yet terribly draining, is the Goldberg Variations, which I’ve performed frequently. I’m sure I could find some of the so-called virtuoso warhorses in the repertoire to talk about, many of which I played when I was younger. At the moment my affections are elsewhere, but I cannot rule out doing them in the future in fact, it’s a distinct possibility!

AMOAFOWAA: As a performer, what criteria do you employ in playing any work? How do you strike a balance between realizing the composer’s intentions and self-expression?

NINO: This is a sticky issue. To be honest, the composer is dead on that page of music until we, as performers, bring him or her alive. Any performance of any piece of classical music has got to be transformed through the performer’s personality in order to be heard. To what extent we as performers interject ourselves is the real issue?  I see it as a balancing act. One must know and be true to everything which is on the page. Beyond that, one must try and sort out what the composer was really trying to say at that moment. I know all too well, having worked with many contemporary composers in the past thirty-five years, that what they put on the page is more often than not only a blueprint. More than once, if I’ve changed something, the composer will say: Yes, that’s fine, because you’ve approached the argument (or thesis) of the work from a slightly different angle than I conceived at the moment I was writing it. So your conclusion is not only perfectly natural, but also justifiable. On other occasions, the composers have been sticklers for the minutest of printed details. So it can work either way. The problem for us performers is with the so-called dead composers. More often than not, the music simply leaps off the page at me, it speaks openly, strongly, and affirmatively to me. But how many are the times that I wished I could have rung up Beethoven, or Bach, or Mozart, or Schubert, and asked them what they meant by a hair-pin, a Sforza to, a pianissimo that seemed misplaced. Such moments in music are the things that one loses a good night’s sleep over, and I’m not exaggerating! Having lived with a work for a certain period, though, I do feel that an honest and conscientious performer has the right, and maybe even the duty, to change a few things in the score if it allows that score to come alive in a better way.

 

 

Mino Mihran, the pianist on amoafowaa.com
Mino Mihran, the pianist on amoafowaa.com

AMOAFOWAA: What things do you find irritating about other performers’ performances of works that you perform yourself?

NINO: Whether it be in works that I perform myself or not, I find incredibly irritating the affected way of music making that is making the rounds amongst many of today’s younger, and successful, generation. What I mean by irritating is the gross exaggeration of dynamics and tempi, the sheer lack of regard towards simplicity of movement, thought and feeling that is part and parcel of any truly great work. Luckily for all of these great works in the piano literature, there are still older, more established and more seasoned artists to lead the way. But it seems that this is what the promoters and the managers think the audiences really want to see and hear. I’m not so sure

 

 

AMOAFOWAA: You seem to have no regret of having chosen that way.

 

NINO: No, I don’t. My life had been good, and since choosing this way, my life has been even more fulfilled. There are so many wonderful young musicians in today’s music world. Their enthusiasm and passion bring a tremendous amount of energy to our field, and their passion will support and sustain it in the future. Communicating with those young people motivates and encourages me. As one of the older generation, I can communicate my experience as a teacher and a performer to those young people.

 

AMOFOWAA:  Any words of wisdom for those who have won distinction in piano competitions?

NINO: Try not to allow feelings of a momentary accomplishment to obscure the need to develop and grow.

AMOAFOWAA: What are you working on at the moment? Tell us a little about your current projects.

NINO: Every single concert is different. Each one has a unique experience with the audience and in my career I have never experienced any two concerts that were the same. This coming year (2015) we will be touring in over 20 countries and we get a renewed enthusiasm from each new audience, ground breaking, international concert venues at the Acropolis in Greece, Forbidden City in China, Taj Mahal in India, The Kremlin in Russia, and other significant international concert venues

That is the magic of live performances, they are live and never the same. I still get “butterflies” or anxious before every single show. When we perform for an audience, we get so much love from the audience that makes all of us on the stage feel so motivated and rewarded for our effort and this love and relationship with the audience is what keeps us going with such enthusiasm.

I will keep enjoying my collaboration as soloist, Composer recording for the music publication ‘Pianist Millennium Production’; a tour in Chicago, Boston, San Francisco, New York for Christmas Melody, Texas,   at the end of the year with other concert activities as usual; and learn more Rachmaninov pieces!

 AMOAFOWAA: Any awards so far?

NINO: Yes.

Mihran on amoafowaa.com
Mihran on amoafowaa.com

GOLD MEDALIST in FOUR INTERNATIONAL PIANO COMPETITIONS

 

New Orleans IPC, Alfredo Barilli IPC, Washington IPC, Missouri Southern IPC, Laureate of Seiler IPC, Special Prizes (including Best Performances of 20th-Century and Commissioned Works)

  1.  WINNER for “Album of the Year” in the 2013 Whisperings Solo Piano Radio awards.
  2.  “Spiritual Awakening” nominated for Best New Age Song in the 2013 Independent Music Awards.
  3.  Nominated for Best Solo Piano Album on One World Music.
  4.  “Radiance” nominated for Best Instrumental Song in the 2013 Boston Music in Media (HMMA’s) Awards.
  5.  “2013 Top Pick” from Kathy Parsons on MainlyPiano.com
  6.  Ranked #45 on the 2013 Top 100 Albums on Zone Music Reporter.
  7. Olga Brose Valencia Prize for Excellence in Musical Composition (2008)
  8. “Time Lines” Down Beat Album of the Year 2006

 

  1. First Doris Duke Foundation Award for Jazz Composers

 

AMOAFOWAA: Give us some of your performance links:

NINO:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=plATgzMJ-yM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6xz2l3OThWY

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fSvlSYPFBeo

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CZp3Wk2PPG0

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KqXldmNvmdM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DZRqLgHYxrI

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=29C6Vozf4LA

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q1WiqiPDhW0

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eacB5jTfX-M

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zXRVhqIv7G8

AMOAFOWAA: Tell us about your website/blog. What will readers find there?

NINO:

AMOAFOWAA: Any lessons for young pianists

NINO: For any young artist, I would advise to keep an open and inquisitive mind, read omnivorously from many different sources, go to a lot of concerts of fellow artists, and of course, practice and learn new music continually. And be unflinchingly honest to your deeper self, whatever it is. This is the hardest of all to accomplish.

AMOAFOWAA: Thank you very much for your time:

NINO:

Thank you too.

HIS INSPIRATION CAME IN THIS FORM

Pa, panananana

Pana nanana, panananana

Pananana, papanananana

When skilled fingers play

There is an array of light in emotions

Mihran ranks high

Playing and playing till sorrowful thoughts melt

Perhaps, he is the belt that we all need

In times when we are stuck and harmed

Play your play

As we see them served on goodness tray

Nino is the piano master

Play until play suspends time

Forcing the piano to play even after your heavenly call

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia © 2015

Emotions – This post is part of SoCS & Love is in da blog

Today being Valentine’s Day, please think not only of your lover, there are children on the street needing a little smile here and there, try your hardest to help one smile today. Blessings Irene, for this post.

IreneDesign2011

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Badge by: Doobster @ Mindful Digressions

Love Is In Da Blog

Today’s prompt is not easy to start for me. What is emotions and the opposites in these? A lot of things happening in our world can turn my temper up in red, even I use to be a calm soul, when I tell it myself…..

I think back at this weeks post at WordPress and think at Cecilias poem about Abused Orphanes did make me so very sad. When kids live away from their home, if the parents are alive at all, at least we need to secure that they get the needed love and care, when they don’t have family to give them this. After being sad I thought about what we can do to change this behavior from adults, who really should show empathy and love to those kids and not abuse them.

I know this is happening to many orphans and…

View original post 304 more words

LONE PIERCINGS

www.pxleyes.com
http://www.pxleyes.com

Verily, verily, I say unto you

Accepting one’s self in a

Life of love amidst the dances of love

Encompasses discipline and pain of

Never ending ‘what ifs’

Turn around or close your eyes

Invite your ex or sit and cry

No, too hard, will you kill yourself?

Empire of fire for the life of the liar

II

Sufferance!

Under sparks of heart attacks!

Copious irony of never felt or trying to forget

Kill those thoughts and imaginations!

Search or sit

III

If all else falls

Failure is halfway up the ladder

IV

You are just one among many

On this heated platform of passionate bubbles

Under the toaster of envy

A kill within a kill

Rant on or neigh like a horse

Embarrassment might override the thoughts

Search or sit

I say again

Never choose death as a route

Glow, flow or tow

Like the thoughtful one you are

Emancipation lies within and no one knows your tomorrow

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia © 2015

THE GATES OF LOVE

xochi.info
xochi.info

Fall into my arms

And let’s recite the Psalms

The Psalms which draw

And brings passionate beauty to the fore

The Psalms which tickles

And has a fragrance which sizzles

When morning breezes wash their faces

As the sun approaches watching its paces

The gates of its arms will be opened

Like red roses open to embrace the world

When dawn yawns

As day opens its eyes

My Bible will be opened to Psalms

And all troubles will be killed with arms

So prepare to fall into my arms

In a day dressed in red and white

Giving options to hearts to bleed or laugh

Till darkness draws its curtains

These arms will lock you in

And pamper your sorrow to chase its lover in another realm

With a shining armour which cuts for thanksgiving

And slaughters loneliness to vanish

I have only a wish for all these

Cook me a love meal tended with salt of foreverness

On this day of love

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia © 2015

 

THE GHANA HEAD SO SAT FROM NKRUMAH

images

When Ghana was hit and sat on by snow

Gallant Kwame Nkrumah felt the blow

He watched as the Gold Coast sunk so low

Watched and learned so hard to tow their glow

He succeeded and with genius thoughts held the snow

And eventually succeeded in banishing her with a 1957 blow

And sat on the high seat with such a fine glow

Until many glows washed him like the snow

 

 

II

Then many mouths started to wag

Who is Nkrumah to nag and tag?

Kotoka planned and burnt his flag

Sending General Ankrah  into the high seat in 1966 with swag

Brigadier Afrifa hoarded plans in a bag

Planning to give Afrifa a bowing gag

And succeeded with a 1969 whip calling him a hag

Only for Nii Ollenu to boot him off like a 1970 rag

 

III

So Ollenu became the real 1970 rag so sold,

After Edward  Akuffo Addo gave him the boot in bold

A few months after he acted so bold,

Ei! Akuffo too was heated like cold

When Kutu Acheampong after two years got his hold

And like a an old cloth gave him his last fold

As a Fred Akuffo also did strike ’78 gold

Only for Papa Jerry to grab his coat and render him a 79 bold sold

images (1)

 

IV

So who was the reigning champion?

Papa Jerry or another lion?

Ei! There was Hilla who ‘hallered’ in the Ghanaian Zion

From 79 to 81 and was pushed by a hand stronger than electric iron

Yes, Papa Jerry again stood so tall

Playing the ball for so long

And from 81, he held the reigns till 2001

Praise the boom champion of the Ghanaian Zion!

 

V

Sexy Kufuor  stood so tall

Among the alls of political hall

Running eight years till his star call

For the weak and pious Atta Mills to heed the high call

Why did death give him such a terrible boot?

Oh maybe a Mahama was ordained to pull us through

The dumsos and the corruptive glues

Why then do we still see blue after such a long winding rule?

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia © 2015

 

THE FREEDOM SONG WHERE I BELONG

There is a place where I belong

It seems I’ve always there belonged

Even while I’m resting under this earthly tree

Its eastern corridors reek freedom song

Freedom from self, the lyrics of the song

From the stitched, to the fried heart

From the sick, to heads needed to be heard

From the thorned, to souls of snow

All live in harmony in the freedom song

There, metaphors are for aphorisms,

Similes are for pleasure

Onomatopoeias garnish laughter

As personification makes the personified glow

In the freedom song where I belong

Its gates are death rated

Why can’t I walk through with knowledge in hand?

Shrouds on body and shroud of mind

Not exactly my preferred ticket to that song

There really is a good place where I belong

But for long, none seems to long

To willingly go to this place

Where freedom songs sing themselves

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia © 2015

AREN’T VULTURES

images (1)

Vultures standing in mirrors

Prepare to fight their souls

None can intervene except pitch dark

Then darkness becomes the hero

The only hero who stopped an internal war

We,

With hearts,

We,

With minds

We,

With souls

Are not vultures

Cannot be vultures

And must not be vultures

In front of mirrors

For we are we

And we are the mirrors

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2015

ONE BROOM

download

When our minds get together
In a bind that can’t go asunder
Peace dances as chaos cries
Harmony jubilates as jealousy lies
So let’s flee in our good highs

II
Let claps shout
And love be stout
Let peace be still
And like broom, feel
The hope standstill
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2015

TRYING TIMES

www.turbophoto.com
http://www.turbophoto.com

Tied to trouble’s tantrums,

Today, I turn to You totally

Turn around and talk to the times

Like the omnipotent that You really are

To calm the tantrum of troubles

II

Here, herald the realms

Hear my heart’s heaviness

Heal my heat and replace with happiness

Helping my  hand always

To cease all hurts

III

In help, help all

All who can take life’s fall

This, like your voice will calm our fears

In honouring love in life

To release the tensions of this earth

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2015

THE HEAVEN I CRAVE

SONY DSC

Without teeth

Without nails

Without stomachs for hunger and greed

Without tools

With no need for protection

That is the heaven I crave

Like serenity in name

Let it be a heaven with no need

A heaven with no gender

A heaven with no discrimination

And like a good choir

Let us sing in unison

To prevent another world of chaos

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2015

THE AFRICA RAPED

map_of_Africa

When hunters’ hunts unveiled her

She sat in mystery like the virgin she was

Adorned by great forests

Clothed by beautiful trees

Surrounded by caring rivers

Being serenaded by great seas

As she sat on the much need riches

Scared at first, they sought to shoot

Then realized her worth

And sought to take

They then realized their defence

So sought to mesmerize

When it proved futile

They resorted to rape

How hurting!

Tearing her forests and uncovering her body

How hurting!

Using her vegetation to beat and subdue her

How hurting!

Raping Africa and breaking her golden hymen!

How hurting!

Leaving her a whore to be dug in times of need

How hurting!

The haunting thoughts of the African raped!

How hurting!

Being tutored to love the rape!

May God save her from these thoughts

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia © 2015

 

BEHIND THE SCENES

camera-man-shadow

When the cameraman dies

Many accuse the camera of lies

As his image is searched

But none can be fetched

He got lost behind the scenes

While he was busy fetching other scenes

Never did he think to be needed in a frame

Until his soul answered the call

Causing chaos in the hall

And tears of loneliness from the frame

Let all know, that the camera’s back blocks

And faces are never seen when a face there docks

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia © 2015

WHAT WAS SAID

bickering

“He said what he said

Because of what I said

I said what I said

Because of what he said

We said what we said

Because of what we both said”

So what was it that was said

That drove what we said?

Most of the time, what was said

Like gas, evaporates before a resolution

Life and its conflicts with never ending solutions!

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2015

WET

images

Here I am

Sand close to the sea

Always wet like a condemned prisoner

Even when the weather is warm

As other sands turn dust

Dancing in the corridors of the breezes,

I stay where I am

Bounded by seawater

I know I’ll eventually be washed ashore

And get lost in the same sea of my bondage

But that is my fate

A fate so gross

A fate which clouds and rains in my heart

A fate I’ll forever abhor

I only pray for a good reincarnation

So I can travel places by the aid of the air or wind

So I can cause a stir, throw tantrums and dance too

And when I finally settle then, I’ll know I did it all

For now, this sad fate, I hold,

I embrace in grace

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia © 2015

PUPPETS (HAIKU)

thepjsta.org
thepjsta.org

We started on clouds

Now pride ties us like a rope

Dangling us in air

 

II

How did we get here?

Mouths playing opposition

To our hearts true sounds

 

III

How did we get here?

Tears for the open hidden

And shed in the dark

 

IV

How did we get here?

Ears with drum sticks for loud tongues

Getting our hearing

 

V

How did we get here?

Backs in great distance instead

Of chest hugging chest

 

VI

We are now puppets

Yes, puppets being played by pride

Tearing us apart

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia © 2015

 

FOR MY SWEET DEBBIE PALMER

 

When an angel falls in the dark

There is no place light has no mark

All hidden routes are made visible

Impossibilities then become possibilities

She, without wings, is the she, bearing goodness

I, in the dark, am the one, liberated

Thousand tongues cannot sing your praise

If I do ask considering the level of gratitude

God’s blessings

Much of it

So much like seas without end

Is what I ask for you

And for this mark on this life

Crossing oceans to touch this heart

I’ll forever cherish its memory

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia © 2015

BLAME THE ROLLING BALLS (HAIKU IN MONO-RHYME)

football image

When legs lift the balls

At all ambitious goals’ calls

Nets cry, touched by balls

II

As a section falls

Another does climb joy’s walls

Worshipping the balls

III

Goal, goal, goal; the calls

Where we will head are the malls

We are the stand-talls

IV

All those with the galls

Just because you took the falls

Blame those rolling balls

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2015

BITING BOUTS

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Baron bought bread brought by Berth

Beating Ben by bribing Berth

Brewing beverages bought by Ben

Belittling Brown by buying beef

Brought-up by Brown’s best boys

II

“Bring my bread

Bring my beverage

Bring back my beef in the best bowl”

But Baron boasted by biting the last bite

Betting Both Ben and Brown

That none can beat him in a bout

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia © 2015

SWEPT OFF HER FEET

gifts-for-valentines-day-for-men-5

“Oh saintly mermaid! 

One with a heavenly touch!

You are the breath

I need to have!

II

Oh beautiful princess

Of a higher kingdom

Look down in love

On this pitiful patient of love”

III

Ordinary Abea

Thought she had landed

Looked down and danced

For the one who beckoned in humility

IV

The dance ended in a frenzy

Until her clothes danced off her

And his accompanied them

And off they drove with the wind

V

It was night

Morning welcomed her alone

To her surprise, her heaven was by the shore

With many eyes viewing her in nothing

V

That prince was gone

Gone with the winds like her clothes

She then solved the puzzle

It was a moment meant to sizzle

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2015

VALENTINE ANTICIPANTS

valentines-2015.com
valentines-2015.com

“He would buy me some shoes

Which would themselves give boos

We will never slip in twos

Because we work well as twos”

II

These are words from  novices

You all need some services

Your minds do have some crevices

So come for the services

III

Even those bonded by bands

Showing always on their hands

Do land on separate lands

Before the carriage of Valentine lands

IV

So pray instead of singing

Hope instead of wanting

Be the fool in the swinging

Or the gift anticipated

Will make you goods antiquated

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2015

NO BURDEN OF GUILT (HAIKU)

images

“Bone of contention?

He lived with a chain of thoughts

Ringing in his mind

II

Kong tang yang kang kong!

They rung, rung, rung rung non-stop

Until Pantan called

III

Those loads he carried

Those in his goodness married

Shunned him totally

IV

Funny how life sailed

There was no burden of guilt

None asked for his mind”

V

A story heard too much

Responsibility is

Godly! People think!

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2015

LEFT BEHIND (TANKA)

MH012

When busy legs lie

Being neglected by hearts which sigh

Watching others move

As minds think of all its loss

Doom blankets future wishes

II

Will I ever rise?

Will I ever leave like them?

Will I ever laugh?

Will I ever get my wish?

Dilemic songs sing themselves

III

If God watches now

Let all sicknesses bow now

To grant peace to all

Because when eyes see movements

Hearts suffer left behind pain

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2015